Gravel Suisse offers a worldclass course for climbers

UCI Gravel World Series

The new UCI Gravel Suisse race taking place next weekend in Villars at the doorstep of the UCI headquarters is the second event in our TREK UCI Gravel World Series offering a UCI Gran Fondo and UCI Gravel race over the same weekend. It’s even the first race offering a time trial and granfondo road race with a gravel race on the day in between the two road events.

We had the opportunity to test the course with the organizers and saw a challenging circuit with splendid views over the Alpes Vaudoises mountains.

Organizers Grégory Saudan and Alex Rey designed a course which fits for pure climbers.

Grégory: “The race starts in Villars-sur-Ollon which is the ski-village a few kilometres away from Aigle where the UCI headquarters are located. We do start up the Col de la Croix for a first few kilometres on paved roads before hitting the prairies higher up the mountain after 10km.”

Looking at the map, the first half of the course reaches the highest peaks?

Alex: “Yes, we start at an elevation of 1200m in the village but quickly go to 1750m after 16km on course from which the second part is on gravel. There is a very steep part here which only strong riders can climb on the bike, but I fear that most of our participants will have to dismount during 10 or 20 meters. Afterwards, we stay on a platform to reach the highest point after 28km where all ski-elevators reach their top.”

What follows is a long descent towards Aigle and the UCI headquarters?

Grégory: “Yes, with passage through Les Diablerets where we have another small climb before starting the long descent in a beautiful forest to Aigle with a flat tour around the UCI headquarters in the Rhone valley. The 30km flat section is very welcome before starting the final steep 10km in a beautiful forest to our finish just outside the village to have a safe entry back to where the race started.”

What is the percentage of gravel towards paved roads?

Alex: “A bit more than half is pure gravel and offroad while 25% are on old roads who are often not in the best condition and require some technique, especially in the downhill. A quarter is on paved roads from which a big part comes right after the start.”

We look forward to see the event in full action!


Share this article